USA – based Bharatanatyam dancer Bala Devi Chandrashekar has been producing unique solo theme productions over the last decade. Bala has just completed a European tour of the production Karna, which was received very well.
This year, Bala is here with her version of 'Karna', one of the fascinating characters of the Mahabharata – one who is a invincible, supreme warrior with immense strength and known for valour.
Bala says Karna is among the most popular and complex characters in the Mahabharata, showing both nobility and unjust behaviour over the course of the epic.
This production explores all the hues of Karna's emotions trapped in moral dilemmas, the angst and the conflict with which he grew up with all his life (he was the first-born son of Kunti and abandoned at birth – found by Adhiratha, a charioteer and his wife Radha who raised Karna as their own son and named him Vasusena.
In the Mahabharata war, Karna was obliged to fight from the side of Duryodhana as Duryodhana, recognizing his merits had made him a king and adopted him as a close friend. Karna fighting from Kauravas' side was a great worry of the Pandavas.
Karna exhibited godly traits – much like the sun – of dazzling brilliance and unending generosity, but in Karna’s life there was one fatal flaw. He kept his friendship and loyalty to Duryodhana at the cost of being unrighteous and such loyalty leads one to a tragic end. Karna's end was the culmination of holding on to adharma, resulting in Parasurma's curse, Draupadi's humiliation and Abhimanyu's treacherous killing, and ultimately, Lord Krishna rewards Karna with the Vishwaroopam, recognizing all his good deeds, his charity.
Bala Devi says her dance recital will explore the gamut of facets of Karna.
Concept and Choreography – Bala Devi Chandrashekar.